What Can You Spray on a Charcoal Drawing So It Won't Smear?

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Charcoal drawings tend to smear if you don't treat them properly. Learn what you can spray on a charcoal drawing so it won't smear with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Painting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth. I'm an artist out of Portland, Maine, and I'm going to show you what you can spray on charcoal drawings so they don't smear. As you can see I have a charcoal drawing here and if I don't spray something on top of it, and it gets rubbed somehow the charcoal is going to just completely brush off the page. So you can find at any art store something called Fixative. The Fixative is in sort of a spray paint type of can and make sure you have proper ventilation when using Fixative because it is toxic and shake the can up, open the lid and you want your charcoal drawing to be either flat against a wall or flat down on a table or the floor and hold your spray can about a foot above the page and you're going to use even sweeping motions back and forth across the page working slowly down so that you are evenly covering the whole page. Once you've sprayed the Fixative you probably want to get out of the way because it is toxic. My name is Abbeth, and I just showed you how to use Fixative on a charcoal drawing.


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